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Collect[ion]

24 Oct

Collection

Greetings y’all,

Hope you are having a great Monday – we at Living Stones have just started a 24/7 Prayer week. So, I thought I’d blog a little bit each day on prayer ideas, reflections from the prayer room and ideas for our own prayer lives. Today the theme is collects.

I have been using these prayers to help deepen my own prayer life and you may like to give it a try.

In the traditional liturgical service the collect is an opening prayer and looks something like this;

Let us pray;

A time of silence to be kept

God of constant mercy,
who sent your Son to save us:
remind us of your goodness,
increase your grace within us,
that our thankfulness may grow,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen

Taken from the 12th Sunday after Trinity

There are two main areas that I want to look at in this blog post that I hope will aid you in your prayer life. The first is the order the collect happens and then the second is the collect (Bold Text) itself.

1) The Order 

The collect can be broken into four parts – with each part reinforcing community and the importance of praying together in unity. Each part is important in giving the prayer meaning.

a) The Invitation

It seems quiet simple doesn’t it? Let us pray… but it is part of the whole prayer. The collect is about gathering (collecting) the thoughts of the community and praying together as a response to our individual prayers. Therefore the invitation is key, let us (the body of Christ) pray.

b) The Silence

This is the heart of the collect – it is in the silence that we pray, we collect our thoughts around the theme of that particular collect. We meditate on the scriptures the Holy Spirit brings to mind, we stay in the present – knowing we are loved by God. Silence is so important to our prayer lives and I feel we often underestimate it and its importance.

c) The Collect

The collect is then said as a bringing together or summation of the individual prayers prayer. In the traditional liturgy the leader will say the prayer as a way of articulating the silent prayers of the church. But, we are finding it works equally well when said together as a community.

d) The Amen

The community responds with a AMEN – so be it. We have prayed individual and now we agree with this prayer together.

The collect is not so much vein repetition but carefully thought out reflection and response. Which actually builds in time for the work of the Holy Spirit and for us to respond as a community, not hinder it.

2) The Collect 

So, we have looked at the part of the service where the collect would be. Let’s have a look at how they are constructed and this has been incredibly freeing in my own prayer life and I hope it will be in yours.

a) Address

This is simply who we are speaking to, in our example God is address as “God of constant mercy”

b) An attribute, quality of God or something He has doen

This generally is linked in with the theme of the collect, in our example above we read, “who sent your Son to save us: 

c) The petition

What we are asking of God. “remind us of your goodness, increase your grace within us”

d) The reason or expected result

Why we want that prayer to be answered. “that our thankfulness may grow”

e) Conclusion

The Christ centred conclusion, “through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

f) Amen

As it says! So be it!

So, there is a brief overview of Collects.

They are important in our times of corporate prayer as I have said already. But, I am also finding great use in jotting down my own collect style prayers as part of my prayer time. They help shape our focus, they help remind us of who God is, they help us think what we are actually asking for and why we want it. As a result my times of prayer have become more refined, more fruitful as my mind wanders less.

They also lead to more content-filled prayers – we think a little, speak less but with more purpose and wait on God more. I for one am all for that.

I am also finding that they are helping in the constant prayer as well. As I am staying mindful of Jesus, praying for the people I meet or in the same coffee shop as me, my prayers are fed from my collected thoughts on that subject. I am praying God’s blessing on them knowing that we serve and follow a God who is rich in mercy and is for us not against us.

My encouragement to you would be to give it a go, write a collect and maybe even share it with your community this week. You know what is going on in your community – try to put that into a prayer that collects your thoughts and bring it as a corporate offering.

Grace and peace,

Steve

Here are two of mine, see what you think;

Heavenly Father, Seer of all, our protector and our shield. Grant that we will walk rooted and built up in Christ, that we may our lives with thanksgiving in our hearts. In the name of Jesus our risen saviour.

Amen

Faithful Father, Full of grace and mercy. We ask that your peace would rule in our hearts that we may be faithful in our witness of you, through Christ our Lord and Saviour

Amen

Some more examples of the Collect can be found here.

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4 responses to “Collect[ion]

  1. Helena Britsch

    October 24, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    This is very Church of England, which I was brought up in. To me there are pros and cons.
    The spontaneity and joyfulness of the evangelical church is missing but I do like it for communion services for example.
    Just my 2 cents as usual!

     
    • blogblunders

      October 24, 2011 at 3:36 pm

      Thanks Helena,
      Yes, it is very Church of England – which I too was brought up in. Often the pros and cons are to do with the person leading the liturgy. Having been part of some awesome times of worship using well led liturgy I tend to only see the benefits – especially when leading corporate gatherings. Liturgy helps shape our focus as well as allowing for times of spontaneity and joyfulness! My 2 cents reply! 😉 Be blessed, thanks for the conversation!

       
  2. Rob Endicott

    October 25, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Awesome stuff Blunders! Many thanks. Having attended CofE churched for many years when I was younger, I had no real concept of the point of Collects, I just thought they were for lazy people like me to pray without really having to think about what to pray about. How wrong! Lovely to see the structure broken down like this, something I can definitely put into practice in my prayer life. Be Blessed in your writings!!!

     
    • blogblunders

      October 25, 2011 at 10:05 am

      Thank you for your message Rob. Be blessed in your prayer adventures! Love to all

       

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